Transfer window milestone
English Premier League clubs set January record
The eye-watering £107 million splashed out by Chelsea for Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez saw English Premier League clubs spend a record-breaking £815m in the January transfer window.
The 22-year-old World Cup winner signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract at Stamford Bridge after completing a British record transfer fee.
With owner Todd Boehly loosening the purse strings, the London club were the main movers in the January sales, spending more on gross transfer expenditure – £290m – than the combined total of all clubs in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1.
According to analysis from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, the deadline day outgoings in England’s top flight represented an increase of 83% on the previous January record of £150m from 2018.
Gross transfer expenditure was almost triple Premier League clubs’ spending in January 2022.
Following the record-breaking 2022 summer transfer window (£1.9bn), Premier League clubs have spent a total of £2.8bn overall on player transfers during the 2022/23 season, overtaking the previous record of £1.9bn set in the 2017/18 window by 47%.
The Premier League was the highest-spending league amongst Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues in the January transfer window (£815m / €930m), followed by Ligue 1 (£110m / €125m), Bundesliga (£60m / €70m), La Liga (£25m / €30m), Serie A (£25m / €30m).
Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “The record spending by Premier League clubs this season is beyond anything that we’ve seen before. It is a clear indication of talent acquisition being core to Premier League clubs’ business strategies.
“Premier League clubs have outspent those within the rest of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues by almost four to one in this transfer window.
“However, while there is a clear need to invest in squad size and quality to retain a competitive edge, there will always be a fine balance to strike between prioritising success on-pitch and maintaining financial sustainability.”
It was a much quieter January in Scotland’s top flight.
Champions Celtic did most of their business earlier in the month with Yuki Kobayashi, Alistair Johnston (£3.5m) and Tomoki Iwata all penning deals prior to South Korean’s Oh Hyeon-gyu arrival last week in deal thought to be worth £3m.
New Rangers boss Michael Beale strengthened his squad with the signings of Todd Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin, the Ibrox club reportedly paying around the £3m mark to bring both players to Glasgow.
Hearts were happy to land Yutaro Oda from Vissel Kobe on a long-term deal, while Garang Kuol arrived on loan from Newcastle United.
Among the notable departures from the Scottish Premiership during January were Josip Juranovic, who moved to Union Berlin from Celtic in a deal which could be worth £10m to the Hoops, Ryan Porteous, who signed for Watford for £450,000 from Hibs and Aberdeen skipper Anthony Stewart who joined MK Dons on loan.